January 25, 2010
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Mac OS X
Description of Showcontrolpro 3.1
To be used in a live concert/performance environment
Showcontrolpro is a program written to be used by live audio engineers in a live concert/performance environment. It works by recalling scenes, snapshots or patches in digital desks and outboard FX that respond to MIDI program changes. Each set of these snapshots (one for each device in your setup) is referred to as a cue.
Let us say that an artist has a setlist of songs. Each song will have various musical parts to it e.g. verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle 8, chorus, etc. Using showcontrolpro, each part of a song that requires a different EQ, effect, or change of any mix parameter can be assigned a cue. When that cue is activated (option-space) each snapshot in each device is recalled instantaneously.
So, within showcontrolpro, songs are made up of cues. To work with a particular artist, a database of songs must be constructed, each song consisting of a set of cues needed for the changes in that song. In many cases you may only need one cue in a song - this depends on the complexity of the material.
This building of the database is done in the 'repertoire' window. Here in addition you can assign an audio sample to a particular cue, and decide if you want showcontrolpro to move automatically to the next cue when the sample has finished playing. You can also trim the level of the sample to your liking. Once the database is complete, songs can be easily arranged on a daily basis into a set list for live performance using the 'buildshow' window. These setlists can be saved to and recalled from disk whenever you want.
For the actual performance, cues and songs are recalled manually from the 'showtime' window. The user interface gives a very clear display of the song and cue titles, and it's also possible to scroll the set list without affecting the active cue.
Finally, the 'setup' window is where you can allocate and name the devices in your setup, and assign the MIDI channels that the program changes will be sent on. You can easily use up to 32 devices in your set up. Here as well you can assign your desired keyboard shortcut for firing samples (default is 'x'). You will also configure your MIDI interface in this window.
The beauty of using showcontrolpro is that once you have a basic set of cues for all your songs, during the course of touring, the cues gradually get better and better, and generally you will find that, although each cue is a 'starting point' for your mix, the changes you will need to make become gradually smaller and smaller.
It sounds quite daunting to create a database of all the songs of a particular artist, but you can quite easily do this 'on the fly'. You have to set your mix and effects anyway, so why not do it in a way that you can easily recall everything? I have been using the version 2 program for the last 6 months, and I can assure you, after a little practice, it's easy!
by Pete Best
on April 15th 2011, 11:13
Excellent software, making live mixes using Scenes a complete no-brainer!
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